Underground potlatch

Cole, Douglas
October 1991
Natural History;
Describes the potlatch, a ceremony held by Indians of the North Pacific coast, specifically the Kwakiutl, which was outlawed by Canadian authorities but has nonetheless survived to the present day. History of antipotlatch laws; How the potlatch has changed to avoid notice; Consideration of the hamatsa ritual which involves cannibalism of human flesh; Influence of church and school on the Indian's needs; Prosecutions and imprisonments associated with the antipotlatch law of the 1920s; Revisions of the Indian Act which recommends that the Kwakitul be allowed to practice the customs of their heritage.


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